Based on the results of its most recent fan survey, CAS Trust estimates that between 6,000 and 7,000 season ticket holders are unlikely to renew unless something drastically changes in the way Charlton Athletic is being run. The vast majority of fans are actively joining in with protests, and a substantial number have already reduced their Charlton-related spend. Fans’ deliberate actions in not buying season tickets and not spending on other club-related items is likely to equate to £2M or more in lost revenue. Beyond pure finances, the long-term cost in reduced emotional engagement with the club is incalculable.
The survey was completed by 770 fans, including 50 via hard copy at the home match v Blackburn Rovers. This is a very large and statistically robust sample, enabling us to calculate the above figures with a strong degree of confidence.
There was a broad age spread with 9% under 24, 25% 25-44, 24% 45-54, 26% 55-64 and 14% 65+. The vast majority (90%) of respondents are male and 42% are Trust members.
73% of respondents (563) are currently season ticket holders. Of these, only 13% say they are very likely to renew, with a further 16% quite likely. This leaves over 70% unlikely to renew, split almost evenly between those not very likely and those not at all likely. This is a drastic rise since the last CAS Trust survey, conducted in early November 2015, when only 6% were not at all likely to renew and 28% not very likely. In less than three months, we have therefore seen substantial hardening in supporter sentiment against the methods of the current ownership.
This is borne out by responses to the question on whether or not supporters are personally participating in protest action. 83% already are, with a further 10% considering it. 5% are not participating because they are unsure what the protests will achieve, while just 2% (a familiar figure?) are not protesting because they support the current ownership.
66% are protesting because they want a change of ownership, 16% because they want the current owners to change their ways.
Based on online responses only, the most popular actions are boycotting non-ticket spend at the club (55% of all respondents) and attending the post-match protests (50%), next come pre-match protests (34%) and wearing a black and white scarf (30%). More than a fifth (23%) say they are boycotting home matches.
Over two thirds of online respondents report they have deliberately reduced their club-related spend, by an average of £137 each.
271 fans left a personal message for the owner and these are being separately compiled.
Thank you to all those who completed the survey either online or in person at the Blackburn match allowing us to compile these results.